Moisten the rim of a rocks glass with a lime wedge or water, then dip in coarse salt. Fill the glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, combine 2 ounces silver tequila, 1 ounce fresh lime juice, 1/2 ounce orange liqueur (such as Cointreau) and 1 1/2 teaspoons superfine sugar; do not add ice. Shake vigorously, then pour into the prepared glass and garnish with a lime wedge. To serve it up," combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice; shake, then strain into an empty salt-rimmed glass.
To make a big batch:
Mix 12 ounces tequila, 6 ounces lime juice, 3 ounces orange liqueur and 3 tablespoons superfine sugar in a pitcher. Add ice right before serving. Divide among 6 salt-rimmed glasses.
Dress up your margaritas with flavored salt. Each batch makes enough for 6 drinks.
Smoky Orange Salt
Microwave the grated zest of 3 oranges on a paper towel-lined plate, tossing every 30 seconds, until dry, about 1 1/2 minutes. Grind in a spice grinder with teaspoon smoked paprika and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Mix with 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt.
Sweet and Spicy Lime Salt
Microwave the grated zest of 4 limes on a paper towel-lined plate, tossing every 30 seconds, until dry, about 1 1/2 minutes. Grind in a spice grinder with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Mix with a large pinch of cayenne and 1 tablespoon each sugar and kosher salt.
Tangy Hibiscus Salt
Grind 2 tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers (also called Jamaica flowers; available at Latin American markets and health-food stores, or at mexgrocer.com) in a spice grinder until powdery. Mix with 3 tablespoons kosher salt.
Photograph by Levi Brown